6 ways to build an accounting career you love

This content is brought to you by ICS Learn.

What’s the point in being stuck in a career that you don’t love?

A recent poll by Gallup found that just 15% of workers feel engaged in their jobs – a worrying finding, indicating that almost 85% of workers don’t enjoy their roles.

You only have one life, and you should use it to build a career that you enjoy working in. With that in mind, here are 6 ways that you can build an accounting career that you love.

1. Completing your AAT qualifications

When you have an AAT qualification under your belt, like an AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting or an AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting, you’ll find that you’ll have access to a lot more career opportunities, and as a result, you’ll have a better chance of finding a role that you really love.

Professional qualifications from a recognised body like the AAT are one way that employers can gauge the quality of your skills, knowledge and experience in accountancy. By having a fully completed qualification to reference when you’re applying for jobs and internships, you’ll be able to improve your chances of getting your ideal roles.

Qualifications are the building blocks to success and to convincing employers that you have what it takes to succeed. It makes sense to take the time to get your qualifications in order to advance your career to your dream role.

2. Choosing your specialism

Accountancy is a big field and it’s made up of lots of different areas.

Choosing a specialism – a topic that really interests you professionally – can help you to establish a better connection to your career. Why does that matter? Well, if you’re actually invested in something – ie. you have an interest, talent or passion for some aspect of it – you’ll find the work more engaging and actually enjoy the time you spend working!

It can be challenging to identify a particular area of accountancy that you’re interested in, but you’ll usually find that you’re drawn to a couple of different areas – either down to personal preference or talent. Identify those areas, make a shortlist and try to narrow down your options.

Some common specialisms that accountancy has include:

  • Financial accounting
  • Forensic accounting
  • Corporate finance
  • Corporate treasury
  • Insolvency
  • Management accounting
  • Tax

3. Getting hired at your ideal company or firm

Everyone has dreams and ambitions. Getting hired for your dream job role is obviously one of the key routes to building a career that you really love. But getting to it is probably going to be a long-term process – not one that you’re going to achieve overnight (although some do!).

You’ll have to work your way up the career ladder, building experience and knowledge in other roles first before you can grab that dream job.

As a result, the trick to getting hired at your ideal company in the long-term is to identify the jobs that might get you faster to that dream position.

If you’re having trouble identifying your dream job, look a bit closer at the ideal traits that you’re looking for in a job and an employer, and then whittle down these options, listing the pros and cons of each.

4. Starting your own practice

Taking the plunge and starting your own practice can be a great way to develop an accounting career that you really love.

For many accountants, running their own practice is the ultimate career goal. Leading your own practice, you’ll benefit from greater freedom and autonomy; plus, people who are self-employed generally report higher job satisfaction than those who aren’t.

Of course, running your own practice can be extremely challenging and it isn’t a project you should enter into lightly. That said, it can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a career in accountancy – both in terms of satisfaction and in terms of financial reward.

5. Becoming Chartered

A Chartered Accountant is probably one of the most advanced roles when it comes to the accountancy field. It’s not surprising then, that this role is the one to aim for for a lot of accountants in search of a fulfilling career that they love.

Chartered Accountants are experts in how accounting and finance works in a business, advising employers on maximising profit and efficiency through financial policies, and they’ll usually have more of a strategic role to play in an organisation than that of an ordinary accountant.

To become a Chartered Accountant, you’ll need to study with a recognised Chartered Accountancy body such as ACCA, CIMA or ICAEW.

AAT graduates benefit from a fast-track route to Chartered status with all the major Chartered accountancy bodies in the UK, which can make becoming a Chartered Accountant a lot easier – and faster!

6. Becoming a part-time AAT tutor

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu was on to something when he said: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

For many accountants, sharing their knowledge with others – and training the next generation – can be one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Becoming an AAT tutor is one of the best ways to do that.

AAT have recently released a really great video on how to become a part-time AAT tutor, if you’d like to find out more.

We hope these tips help you start building an accountancy career you love!

Complete your AAT qualifications 100% online at your own pace with ICS Learn. Get your free AAT course guide today to learn more.

This content is brought to you by ICS Learn.

ICS Learn is an online learning organisation. They have been a pioneer in teaching skills and qualifications at a distance for over 130 years, giving you the opportunity to learn while earning and to fulfil your ambitions..

Related articles